Our Diana

‘Our Diana’ is a tribute – not to Diana, Princess of Wales – but to the endless public opinions and media articles broadcast every week since her death, and how absurd we would find it if these things were said about a normal, everyday dead person. Love or hate her, everyone has something to say about Diana.

Made in collaboration with dance artist Adele Wragg we were first excited to explore this work after a well dressing hit the national news in September 2017:

Did you enjoy that?

I hope so.

We got obsessed with this well dressing and the huge variety of online comments about it. It set us off down a rabbit hole researching public opinions and online commentary about Princess Diana in general and wanting to make a show about it all.

Can you believe there are still newspaper articles broadcast every single day about Princess Di? What could they possibly say? Here are the headlines from this week alone:

Why Princess Diana’s Fashion Will Never Go Out of Style – Vanity Fair, Nov 9th 2020

Princess Diana’s Most Iconic Style Moments – Town and Country magazine, Nov 10th 2020

Princess Diana Back In The Spotlight: The Return Of A New-Old Scandal – Forbes Magazine, Nov 11th 2020

A Timeline of Princess Diana’s Best Looks – Harpers Bazaar, Nov 12th 2020

The little-known true story of Diana and Camilla’s friendship – Tatler, Nov 13th 2020

Performance of Our Diana at Pilot Nights, 2019. Photography by Graeme Braidwood

Using found text and inspired by genuine tributes, ‘Our Diana’ is about the British public, online commentary and wanting to feel part of something. How is it that 22 years after her death, this one woman continues to conjure so much emotion amongst the British public? Why do we love, hate, defend, insult, or grieve for famous figures so passionately when we have never met, and probably will never meet them?

As you’d imagine from the above description, this show is developing using a lot of text. But here we are performing one of our rare sections of choreography which includes no spoken text:

Performance of Our Diana at Pilot Nights, 2019. Photography by Graeme Braidwood

Me and Adele don’t know what the full show will look like yet but we’re pretty sure this little gem will make the cut. We’ve performed this section of material at 2 previous scratch nights and both times it’s had great reactions from the audience and we LOVE doing it.

As a trained dancer who had no experience of speaking on stage until a few years ago I relish these moments of choreography where I can revert back to my natural performance language of movement and trust my body to guide me through. I do love working with text but when working with a heavily verbatim show the dance breaks are a welcome variety!

Performance of Our Diana at Pilot Nights, 2019. Photography by Graeme Braidwood

After a years break we’re digging out the easel and flowers from the back of the cupboard for a performance of ‘Our Diana’ this Friday. It’s so great that In Good Company’s scratch night ‘Go The Distance’ can still go ahead and we’re really looking forward to testing out new ideas on stage. New C-19 rules mean no audience but this event gives us the opportunity to test out new ideas and the recording can be shared at a later date for feedback to help us continue to develop the work. And weirdly it was exactly this date last year we did our last performance of ‘Our Diana’ at Warwick Arts Centre for Pilot Nights scratch event. What are the calendar chances?!

Performance of Our Diana at Pilot Nights, 2019. Photography by Graeme Braidwood